Pac 12 College Basketball Picks: Stanford Cardinal at #11 Utah Utes

Stanford Cardinal at #11 Utah Utes
Jon M. Hunstman Center – Salt Lake City, Utah
Thursday, February 12, 2015, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: Utah -12
Current Line: Utah -11
Opening Total: 132 1/2

Current Total: 134
Opening Money Line: Utah – 700 / Stanford +525
Current Money Line: Utah -650 / Stanford +500

College Football Sportsbook
Utah hosts Stanford Thursday night in a key Pac 12 match-up.

The Arizona Wildcats and Utah Utes are clearly the class of the Pac 12. The two teams are tied for first in the Pac 12 at 8-2 and are both ranked in the top 11 of the polls. No other Pac 12 team is ranked in the top 25. The 18-4 Utes host the 16-7 Stanford Cardinal Thursday. Stanford is in fourth in the conference at 7-4 a half game behind Oregon for third.

Utah leads the series against Stanford 15-11, but the Cardinal have won 3 straight games in the series. The Cardinal won the last meeting 61-60 in Stanford last season in the last game of the regular season. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams. Utah is 9-3 all time in Salt Lake City against Stanford.

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Stanford is coached by Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal have road losses at DePaul, BYU, UCLA and Washington State plus a neutral site loss to Duke in Brooklyn, and home losses to Arizona and UCLA. Stanford has won 3 straight games. The Cardinal have home wins over Delaware, Denver, Loyola Marymount, Washington State, Washington, Connecticut, Arizona State and USC Sunday 70-62. Stanford also has a neutral site win over UNLV in Brooklyn, plus road wins at Texas, USC, California and Washington. The Cardinal are 11-11-1 ATS and the total is 13-10 this season. Stanford was a 14 point favorite against USC and the total was 148.

Utah is coached by Larry Krystkowiak. The Utes have road losses at San Diego State, Arizona and UCLA, plus a neutral site loss to Kansas  in Kansas City. Utah has won 4 of their last 5 games including 2 straight. The Utes have home wins over Ball State, UC-Riverside, Wichita State, South Dakota State, USC, UCLA, Colorado, Washington State and Washington. Utah has road wins over BYU, Arizona State, USC and Colorado 79-51 Saturday and a technically neutral site win over UNLV in Las Vegas. The Utes are 15-5-1 ATS and the total is 11-9 this season. Utah was a 5.5 point favorite against Colorado and the total was 123.5.

Stanford is outscoring teams 75-67 this season. Stanford is #34 nationally in scoring. The Cardinal are shooting 44.6% from the field including 40.2% from 3 point range. The Cardinal are #14 nationally in 3 point shooting. Stanford makes 71.2% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42.1% from the field and 36.8% from 3 point range. Stanford averages 37.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 29. The Cardinal average 12.9 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.2 assists, 12 turnovers, 4.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Guard Chasson Randle averages 20.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Anthony Brown averages 15.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Stefan Nastic averages 13.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. Rosco Allen averages 8.8 points, 5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Reid Travis averages 6.7 points, 6 assists and 1.1 steals per game.  Center Grant Verhoeven is questionable with a hip injury.

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Utah is outscoring teams 74-56 this season. The Utes are #39 in scoring and #9 in points allowed nationally. Utah is shooting 50% from the field and 41.1% from 3 point range. The Utes are in the top six nationally in both categories. Utah makes 68.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 37.5% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. The Utes are #9 nationally in field goal defense. Utah averages 35.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.5 per game. Utah is #14 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Utes average 15.2 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.1 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 6 steals and 3.6 blocks per game.

Guard Delon Wright averages 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Jordan Loveridge averages 10.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Brandon Taylor averages 11.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Jakob Poeltl averages 9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Dakarai Tucker averages 7.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Brekkott Chapman averages 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Stanford is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-11-2 in Pac 12 games and 9-23 in Thursday games.

Utah is 42-14-1 ATS at home, 38-14-2 overall, 35-13-3 after a straight up win, 40-16-1 after a cover, 41-17-1 against Pac 12 teams, 12-5-1 in Thursday games, 46-20-3 against teams with winning records, and 32-15-4 after a straight up win by 20 points.

Utah has won 15 straight games at home dating back to last season. Stanford has struggled recently losing two of their last 3 games. Granted the two losses were by a total of 3 points. Still, Utah is the better team and should win this game handily at home.

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